A felony offense is a criminal act committed in violation of the laws of the State of Tennessee. Punishment for a felony offense carries a jail service of a minimum one year in jail, to a maximum of LIFE in prison with possible fines and other penalties attached. Other consequences accompany a felony conviction, including, but not limited to loss of certain rights such as the right to vote, possess a firearm, etc. Felonies are the most serious criminal charges and if you are charged with a felony you should immediately contact a skilled lawyer.

Felony Classifications:

Tennessee Statutes set out the guidelines for the five classes of felonies.

Class A Felony: This is the most serious felony offense, with jail time ranging from not less than fifteen years in prison, to no more than sixty years in prison. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), unless otherwise provided by statute;
Class B Felony: This felony offense carries not less than eight years, to no more than thirty years in prison. A “Standard” offender may apply for probation and/or other alternative forms of punishment IF the sentence is the minimum eight years. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), unless otherwise provided by statute;
Class C Felony: This felony offense carries not less than three years in prison, to no more than fifteen years in prison, although a “Standard” offender may apply for probation and/or other alternative forms of punishment. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000), unless otherwise provided by statute;
Class D Felony: This felony offense carries not less than two years in prison, to no more than twelve years in prison, although a “Standard” offender may apply for probation and/or other alternative forms of punishment. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), unless otherwise provided by statute; and
Class E Felony: This felony offense carries not less than one year in prison, to no more than six years in prison, although a “Standard” offender may apply for probation and/or other alternative forms of punishment. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000), unless otherwise provided by statute.
T.C.A. § 40-35-111

Offender Ranges:

It is important to keep in mind that felony punishment is dependent with not only the Class of felony, but also the Offender Range . The five Ranges defined in Tennessee criminal law by T.C.A. § 40-35-105 are:

Especially Mitigated Offenders, defined in C.A. § 40-35-109 as a defendant who:
Has no prior felony convictions; and
The court finds mitigating, but no enhancement factors.

Standard Offenders, defined in T.C.A. § 40-35-109 as one does not fall into one of the other sentencing ranges;
Multiple Offenders, defined in T.C.A. § 40-35-106 as a defendant who has received:
A minimum of two (2) but not more than four (4) prior felony convictions within the conviction class, a higher class, or within the next two (2) lower felony classes, where applicable; or
One (1) Class A prior felony conviction if the defendant’s conviction offense is a Class A or B felony.
Persistent Offenders, defined in T.C.A. § 40-35-107 as a defendant who has received:
Any combination of five (5) or more prior felony convictions within the conviction class or higher or within the next two (2) lower felony classes, where applicable; or
At least two (2) Class A or any combination of three (3) Class A or Class B felony convictions if the defendant’s conviction offense is a Class A or B felony;
Career Offenders, defined in T.C.A. § 40-35-108 as a defendant who has received:
Any combination of six (6) or more Class A, B or C prior felony convictions, and the defendant’s conviction offense is a Class A, B or C felony;
At least three (3) Class A or any combination of four (4) Class A or Class B felony convictions if the defendant’s conviction offense is a Class A or B felony; or
At least six (6) prior felony convictions of any classification if the defendant’s conviction offense is a Class D or E felony and;
Repeat Violent Offenders, defined in T.C.A. § 40-35-120 as a defendant who:
Is convicted in this state on or after July 1, 1994, of any offense classified in T.C.A. § 40-35-120 (b)(1) as a violent offense; and
Has at least two (2) prior convictions for offenses classified in T.C.A. § 40-35-120 (b)(1) or (b)(2) as a violent offense; or
Is convicted in this state on or after July 1, 1994, of any offense classified in T.C.A. § 40-35-120 (c)(1) as a violent offense; and
Has at least one (1) conviction for an offense classified in T.C.A. § 40-35-120 (c)(1) or (c)(2) as a violent offense; or
Is convicted in this state on or after July 1, 1995, of any offense classified in T.C.A. § 40-35-120 (d)(1) as a violent offense; and
Has at least one (1) prior conviction for an offense classified in C.A. § 40-35-120 (d)(1) or (d)(2) as a violent offense with the exception of the prior offense of robbery by use of a deadly weapon as listed in T.C.A. § 40-35-118(a).
The punishment levels of some felonies do not follow the general guidelines set out above. For example, a fourth offense DUI is an E felony but has a mandatory jail sentence of one hundred and fifty days as well as a mandatory minimum fine of 3,000 dollars and loss of driving privileges for eight years.

As you can see, any felony charge is extremely serious and you need to be aware of your rights and possible punishments associated with the charge. For more information about felony charges or about your legal rights with respect to an allegation of a felony offense, the lawyers at Oberman & Rice are available by calling (865) 249-7200. You may also wish to visit www.tncriminaldefense.com for more information about any criminal offense you may be charged with in Tennessee.